June Gloom- My Miscarriage In New York City
I don't really like when people tell me they are "trying" to get pregnant. All it really means is you're having sex. Unprotected sex. I often joke with my friends to let me know after they conceive to avoid the visuals.
For years I was one of those "trying people". I then also realized it is a process. A very difficult one at that. I conceived and miscarried first in 2008. My doctor at the time chalked it up to statistics, common stats. Curious choice of words that did nothing to make me feel better
I became pregnant again in 2009 only this time it was ectopic. I had tubal damage but wasn't prepped about the chances of ectopic pregnancy. When the fertilized egg develops out of the uterus and often in the tube. My pregnancy was in the tube. There was no way to save the pregnancy and it poses a risk to moms health. I had to have a methotrexate shot in my butt and go home. Methotrexate is used in the treatment of cancer patients as well as early ectopic pregnancies to stop cell growth. This didn't make me feel better either.
I underwent a battery of tests only to be told "you're normal!" Try again. Well since
"trying" means sex, sex leads to unsuccessful pregnancy for me, which lead to terminating a wanted pregnancy via a giant needle in my butt, I wasn't much up for trying. But I was at least normal.
Since I decided I wanted to take a break from "trying" I went about my life, suppressing my sadness, and focused on the here and now. I had three children about to graduate! Two seniors (Irish twins) and an 8th grader! My oldest (son) had no interest in a DC and NYC grad trip but did in a grad party. Let the planning begin! I booked our red-eye the same day as the party and prepared for 150 guests. About a week before I found out I was pregnant again. Shit. This was bad timing and I didn't want to talk about it. If I don't have a drink at the party people will suspect something. This day was for the graduates not me!
I decided it was meant to be and the doctor said I could fly. Good to go!
I avoided anyone noticing me without a drink in hand and trips to the bar to celebrate. "I don't want to feel crappy on the flight" "I fly in 6 hours" excuses, excuses.
The girls and I (and a fellow 8th grade grad friend) flew into DC. We spent a few lovely days in Virginia at my cousins, a couple of day trips to the Capital and Georgetown. Shopping, sightseeing and delicious meals my chef cousin made (I still crave his panzanella salad). And while sitting on the front steps of their home I thought I had burning embers warning me a fire was near only to realize they were firefly's! Real life firefly's! And I was still pregnant when we hopped on the bus to New York City.
Our first night I booked a fancy hotel then we had a lower east side apartment through a friend. The first place fell through the day we arrived but scrambling got us another apartment, same area. We arrived to find a giant cockroach in the bathroom. Above the toilet. My liaison friend refused to come rescue us or call it a cockroach! She said it was a waterbug (3 inches out of the water?) and get used to them in summer. In New York.
I visited NYC many times and was excited to show the girls around. Clyde (the cockroach) would not stop our fun (but he wouldn't leave either).
We met up with friends, spent an afternoon in Central Park and scheduled a dinner at a friend's place at the top of Manhattan. We were staying towards the bottom. I started to cramp during dinner and excused myself. I started spotting. No, no, no! Please God no! Not here! Not on the girls trip, not at dinner, not two subways away from the private bathroom with fucking Clyde standing guard over the toilet. no.
I knew I had to leave. To know me is to know I don't have a poker face, I'm not subtle and you can count on my having wine with dinner. Fail on all three counts. But no one, except my husband 3,000 miles away in San Francisco, knew I was pregnant. We left but had to stop at Dwayne Reade for $40 dollars worth of roach killer.
I called my doctor. She reminded me it wasn't my first rodeo and let it pass. I had to get back to that apartment and get the girls and Clyde out. It was horrible - I finally had to tell my oldest daughter (who wanted to know why I didn't go to the hospital) and remembered my husband was camping and unreachable.
In that cramped lower east side bathroom, worried Clyde's family would seek revenge, I let my third dream "pass" into the New York City sewage system. Now I really was alone. God it hurts to write that.
I called my friend I abruptly left at dinner and asked her to come meet me. I had the girls come back and I left to get sangria around the corner. I told my friend everything. We stayed at that restaurant until 4am. Thank you city that never sleeps cause I wasn't going to either.
I don't know why I didn't go to the hospital. My doctor said they would tell me to let it pass and no point waiting or passing the pregnancy while waiting in a NY ER. She'd see me when I returned home.
We all start out the same. We all were once 6, 8, 10 weeks gestation. I wanted those pregnancies. I tried.
Jennifer “Jake” McKenna Ibarra Jake studied Early Childhood Education at San Francisco City College, is a certified birth and bereavement doula through SBD University, certified in perinatal mood disorders by Postpartum Support International and is also a PSI member. Jake recently completed two facilitation trainings and co-facilitates local H.A.N.D. meetings. Jake writes about her grief, and recently completed afour-part series on loss. She writes resources she wishes were available to her in 2011. She is a 4th generation San Francisco Native and mother to six including her preterm twin angels. Her personal experience, combined with extensive birth and bereavement training, make her an invaluable asset to the Doula Spot team.